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I hear that men are difficult to buy for, so here are a few suggestions.   Big or small, luxe or basic, the most important thing is to keep it personal.  And a little romantic.


Frederic Malle Bois D’Orage.  Called “French Lover” outside of the U.S., this thoroughly masculine fragrance is bold enough to draw you in and refined enough to keep you there. [click to continue…]

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Chicken Sofrito (with a shortcut)

Monday, January 19, 2015

This simple and delicious dish has come to be known around our house simply as “the chicken.”  As in “Mmmm.  Smells great.  Are you making the chicken?”  It’s elemental comfort food.  Gently spiced chicken is cooked slowly in a pot with potatoes and garlic –lots of it.  25 cloves of it.  The flavor isn’t pungent, […]

Video: Favorite Pot Roast

Wednesday, January 7, 2015
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In winter one of our family favorite dinners is pot roast.  It’s not something I make on weekdays since its rich flavor and exceptional tenderness depend on around four hours of cooking, but it’s a great thing to put in the oven on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and enjoy later that evening or later […]

Golden Chicken Curry

Sunday, January 4, 2015
Onion Chicken Main

Now that the Holidays are behind us, I’m in the mood for food that wakes up the palate a little, and a nice chicken curry seems like just the thing for dinner this week.  This recipe is a crowd pleaser –lively, but accessible to nearly everyone.  It’s a favorite of Julia’s.

Holiday Cookies 2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

We’ve finished!  This year my partner David and my daughter Julia and I baked around 70 dozen of 11 different kinds of cookies to give to our family and friends.  Today boxes of these cookie tins are headed to their destinations all over the country, and we’ll hand deliver many more over the next few […]

Video: Four Grilled Cheese Variations

Friday, December 12, 2014
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On a cold or rainy day –or any day, really– there’s nothing so comforting as a grilled cheese sandwich.  Here’s a video about four variations on this favorite theme that I think you’ll love: Gruyere with sage oil; Fontina with roasted red peppers; cheddar and chutney; and Manouri with crisped prosciutto and fig jam.  Each […]

Paper Starburst Decorations

Monday, December 8, 2014
Starburst Main

I’ve always admired mid-century starburst wall sculptures.  Made of brass or occasionally gilded metal, they seem to provide a burst of warmth, energy and optimism wherever they appear.  Last week I made a constellation of Holiday decorations inspired by these classics, but out of much humbler materials –brown wrapping paper, hot glue and spray paint. […]

The Holiday Cookie Baking Begins

Thursday, December 4, 2014
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We’re about to start our annual Holiday cookie baking project –60 or 70 dozen cookies that we’ll share with family and friends all over the country– and I’m looking at this post from 2012 and another from 2010 for inspiration.  Each year we add and drop a recipe or two.  Maybe a chocolate fudge this […]

Holiday Pinecone Towers

Sunday, November 30, 2014
Pinecone tower main

Thanksgiving’s over, the Holiday season is here, and it’s time to get out the glue guns and glitter.  Last week I made a group of towers out of pinecones and hazelnuts to decorate the sideboard in our dining room in the City.  The materials were simple, inexpensive, and easy to get, and the construction was […]

Thanksgiving Butternut Squash Soup

Monday, November 24, 2014
Squash Soup 2

In recent years, we’ve begun our Thanksgiving dinner with a warm comforting bowl of butternut squash soup.  I always like the idea of squash or pumpkin soup, but I don’t really like most of the soups themselves.  Generally they’re too sweet and heavy for my taste.  I’ve kept at it, though, and I’ve come up […]